The Hillsborough County School District is not moving away from its decades-old tradition of closing school on a Friday for the Florida State Fair.
Instead, it is doubling down - and adding a fast food promotion.
The School Board on Tuesday will discuss a proposed deal with a group of McDonald’s restaurants.
According to materials posted for Tuesday’s 10 a.m. workshop, Casper McDonald’s would provide a $1,000 scholarship for a high school student of good character.
And the district, when handing out fair tickets, would also hand out McDonald’s coupons.
It’s all part of something they want to call “Family Day.”
As has happened for years, there will be student performances and exhibits, and African American art projects throughout the week.
District leaders have spent the last several years refining their protocols for Fair Day, which is part of a larger relationship between the school system and the fairgrounds. That relationship includes use of the Expo Hall for all high school graduations; and a chance to boost fair attendance and revenues on a week day.
Things reached a low point in 2014, when scores of teens were arrested or ejected during the evening hours and one of them, 14-year-old private school student Andrew Joseph III, was killed by passing motorist on a nearby highway.
Since then, there have been protests, a lawsuit, and extensive work by law enforcement and school officials to make Fair Day safer and better supervised.
The schools do not require children to attend the fair. But they do not transport them either, and Fair Day occurs on a day when most parents are working. Nevertheless, the fair is described in the promotional document as “affordable family fun at its best.”
Tuesday’s workshop is open to the public.